Like a lot of people in my life, I found 2018 to be a difficult year. It was not necessarily a terrible year, but it was not the best one either.

The day I went back to work after my maternity leave ended was the day I realised how challenging parenting is. Not only was I trying to master the art of pumping breastmilk in an environment that is not necessarily pumping friendly, but I also had to navigate the separation anxiety.

I cried like a baby the first day I left the kid with the nanny. It broke my heart into pieces and I was overwhelmed with mom guilt. How can I leave the baby with a stranger? It took me some time to adjust, but my mentality shifted away from the guilt, and towards the realisation that we work hard for her.

One of the hardest things about 2018 was the abrupt end of some relationships. Parenting entered me into a realm of adulthood that most friends haven’t been exposed to. But I believe that the people who are meant to stay, will stay. Those who did, helped me tremendously.

One of the biggest lessons for the year had to be learning three important words: “I need help.” This doesn’t mean typing a complex question into the Google tab. This meant picking up the phone and saying, “I haven’t slept for 24 hours and I feel like I am about to crash.”

My biggest regret is ignoring my biggest helper, my life partner. I really feel like our relationships can easily take the back seat while we invest all our energies into our roles as moms. I learnt that our partners should also come first. They will be left with us when our children go out and find lives of their own, so we need to keep investing in our relationships.

We’ll have more date nights this year because I am learning that a happy relationship equates to a healthier parenting partnership. And this year is all about being the happiest, most authentic version of myself because my daughter is (literally) looking up to me.